Get an Alabama Fishing License

Whether you want to fish the Mobile Delta or Alabama State Public Fishing Lake, you’ll need to make sure you comply with the fishing license requirements. Learn the steps to purchase your license before your next outing.

Get an Alabama Fishing License
Fishing License

Alabama Fishing License Requirements

In Alabama, like elsewhere, anglers are required to purchase a license to fish to protect and enhance the state’s aquatic resources. The rules apply to both residents and non-residents alike.


Residents need to have a recreational license to fish in Alabama. if you’re 16 and older. There are some exceptions, however. The following individuals are exempt:

  • Residents 65 and older with valid proof of residence and age
  • Resident landowners and their immediate family
  • Residents who are home on military leave with ID and paperwork in their possession
  • Residents fishing from the bank in their county of residence with a hook and line (live bait only)

For non-residents, everyone 16 and older must have a license.

Freshwater Fishing Licenses and Costs

If you’re a recreational angler who wants to fish a freshwater body of water, you’ll need to purchase a license. It’s important to note that the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has a map that spells out locations where reciprocal fishing licenses with Mississippi and Tennessee will be honored. The cost for some fishing licenses also depends on where you live.

If you’re a resident, you’ll need to prove your residency. The resident is defined by your driver’s license or non-driver’s ID card. There are several freshwater licenses available to residents. The licenses and their costs for 2021 are:

  • Annual License: This license is valid from September 1 – August 31. The current cost is $14.05.
  • Daily License: If you just want to purchase a license for a day to fish in a State-owned county Public Fishing Lakes, it costs $6.45.
  • Lifetime License: These licenses are valid for the lifetime of the license holder, even if you move out of state. The cost for this type of license varies by your age at the time of issuance.
  • Disabled Licenses: Discount fishing licenses are available for disabled anglers. If you’re 100% physically disabled, a license costs $3.05. For disabled military veterans, a license is $3.15.
  • Wildlife Heritage License: This type of license allows residents age 16-64 to fish in freshwater bodies and hunt small game in Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries for $11.60.
  • Spearfishing License: The cost is $6.00 but you’ll also need to have a freshwater fishing license.

As a non-resident, you’ll need to have the appropriate recreational license to fish in the state. Your options include:

  • Annual License: The cost for an annual license for those from Louisiana is $62.50 and for residents of Mississippi It’s $66.29. For residents of all other states, the cost is $54.20.
  • 7-day Trip License: Out-of-state anglers from Florida pay $32.20 for this type of license and those from Georgia pay $33.20. The license costs for residents from all other states is $30.40.
  • Family 3-day Trip License: The cost for families from Florida for a 3-day trip license is $32.20, and it is $33.20 for those from Georgia. All others pay $30.40.
  • College Student Hunting/Fishing License: For non-residents who are full-time students in an Alabama higher education institute, the cost for this type of license is $14.05.
  • Public Fishing Lakes License: For this type of license, valid only in state-owned Public Fishing Lakes, the costs vary based on where you’re fishing and when you purchase your license.
  • Spearfishing License: The cost for an annual license for non-residents is $8.50 and for a 7-day trip, it’s $3.50. You’ll also need to have a freshwater fishing license.

Saltwater Fishing Licenses and Costs

Saltwater licenses are required only in certain areas in the Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay, Bon Secour Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. There is a map on the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources website that shows the areas where a saltwater fishing license is required.

Alabama offers saltwater license options for both residents and non-residents. How much does an Alabama fishing license cost? For 2021, the costs are as follows:


  • Annual: $24.35
  • 7-day trip: $10.15
  • Pier: $6.40
  • Spearfishing: $6.00
  • Disabled and disabled veterans: $3.05 and $3.15 respectively
  • Reef fish endorsement: $10.00


  • Annual: Louisiana residents pay $91.10, Floridians $48.10 and those from all other states $52.50
  • 7-day trip: $28.85 for those from Louisiana, $30.10 for Florida residents and $28.85 for everyone else
  • Pier: $11.85
  • Spearfishing: $8.50
  • Reef fish endorsement: $10.00

Current pricing for Alabama Fishing Licenses can also be found here.

It’s important to note that even if you have not been required to purchase an annual saltwater license, such as those who are 65 or older or only fishing exclusively from a pier, you’ll still need to complete the saltwater angler registration. Registration is free.

Where to Buy Your Alabama Fishing License

You can purchase an Alabama fishing license online. You can pay with a debit or credit card and immediately print your license.

You can also purchase your license in person. There are several ways to do this:

  • Tanner or Jacksonville District Offices of the Department
  • Your local probate office
  • Your local license commissioner
  • Various license agents